Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has denied engaging in “tribal and religious politics” in support of Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
He stated that his office’s attention was drawn to a vitriolic attack on his person by one of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential aspirants, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, who is the MP for Assin Central, for engaging in a tribal politics campaign for Dr. Bawumia.
But, according to a statement released by his office, nothing could be further from the truth, as demonstrated by the MP for Assin Central’s remark.
“The character trait of Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is truthfulness, pragmatism and realism, and these have always guided and guarded his statements, discussions and conversations,” the statement indicated.
It pointed out that discourses of the Majority Leader, who is also the MP for Suame, are well- reasoned; not philippic – not statements that bitterly attack other persons – or ill-tempered.
It said the Majority Leader had not condoned or connived with anybody to “hijack the party.”
“On the other hand, he, together with others at the National Executive Committee and National Council, stood firmly and thwarted attempts by some of the presidential hopefuls to set aside clearly stated, unambiguous provisions of the NPP Constitution,” the statement noted.
“If that amounts to ‘hijacking or intimidation or collapsing the party’, in the opinion of Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, then it can only be described as unfortunate,” the statement pinned.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said Dr. Bawumia is not known for bellicosity, belligerence or hot-headedness, noting, “He does not spew vitriol.”
The statement said the Vice President is well focused, and that he had never attacked fellow contestants on his campaign tours.
“He speaks to his own track record in the party, his experience and his vision to reposition the party and the economy. He does not issue and has not issued any threats to anybody, including, in particular, any officer of the party at any level,” the statement indicated.
“Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is a lamb who has exhibited long-suffering and preaches peace. It is for these traits that people like Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu as well as the over 130 Members of Parliament have aligned with him,” the statement said.
Regardless, the statement stated that if Mr. Agyapong had any mustard-seed evidence of “intimidation or coercion” or “party-collapsing adventures” on Dr. Bawumia’s part, or “any tribal or religious politics” on Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu’s part, he should bring it.
“The Majority Leader is very much aware of the fragility of the NPP Majority Caucus in Parliament, and that is why he is very circumspect in his response to naked and blatant attacks.
“In this regard, the Leader has always been mindful of his language and, accordingly, he entreats all in the NPP family to recognise that the endeavour to select a presidential candidate (not merely a flagbearer) is a family contest and not a do-or-die battle,” he said.
According to the statement, the Majority Leader strongly emphasises that nothing should be done or supported that has the potential to hinder or obstruct unity within the party’s rank and file beyond November 4, 2023.
By Ernest Kofi Adu